Milestones

I know it’s Wednesday and I know this post is off-schedule. It will take the place of Wednesday on my weekly update plus it will be Thursday’s post a day early. Since I seem to routinely miss posting on Thursday, maybe we should call it a bonus? Here I am. And I have news.

It’s less than two months until my 65th birthday. That means I’m getting close to Medicare age. My brother-in-law (DH’s brother) would say I was too young for Medicare and too old for men to care. On February 1, that will only be half true.

I was advised by a good friend to go ahead and enroll in Medicare a month or more ago but I have a seven month window to do it starting with three months before my 65th so I was in no hurry. I had to gather up my documents and I got that done on Monday. Since I had all my ducks in a row, I thought about leaving work and going in yesterday but I reconsidered and decided to take today off and do it instead.

I’d tried numerous times with no success to call the “local” office (it’s actually almost as far as the university) (according to Google maps, it’s 46.7 miles from my house) to make an appointment. People warned me I’d have to sit there half the day waiting for my turn if I didn’t. When I did get through, it was to a recording telling me to leave my name and number and they’d call back. Too bad. That was this morning and this was either do or die day. Well, not die but you know what I mean. I drank a little more than a quart of grapefruit juice, blended a three banana-cup of blueberries-large amount of spinach, grabbed two bananas and walked out the door.

Mother’s grave was right on the way so I detoured past and made sure everything was okay. It was. I drove by my aunt’s burned shell-of-a-house, too, and it’s still there. It’s spooky and looks like an accident waiting to happen.

DD had told me I should google directions but the Social Security web site has directions plus I’d talked to someone who had been there. I was confident I could find it. Ha! Yeah, right. Well, I did but it took getting lost twice and stopping to ask for directions. The web site says to take I-75 SOUTH and so does Google. Coming from my neck of the woods, it’s I-75 NORTH. Then I was supposed to take Exit 3. Well, when it went from Exit 1 to Exit 183, I knew something was wrong. That’s the first time I stopped to ask. The second time was when I was in the right area but I’d gone the wrong way—again. When I did get to the correct street, I ended up at the wrong building. A very nice lady pointed the building out to me and I was on my way again.

I gathered up all my stuff and went inside. Ah! There was a nice bathroom and it was vacant. I went to the kiosk where one is supposed to get a number based on one of several choices. None of them said “Medicare Enrollment” so I went and asked which one I should choose. The man at the window studied the list and finally told me to select number 3 which was about signing up for survivor benefits or some such. It didn’t seem to exactly fit but none of them did. I touched the screen and the printer spit out a piece of paper with a number.

Since I was going to have a long wait, I’d taken Stiff and I settled down to read. I got through maybe three paragraphs when I heard a voice call “R570”. That was me! Out of a large room probably 2/3 full of people and I was already being summoned? I didn’t know where the call came from so I went to one of the windows to ask. The voice called again and this time people were pointing to a man in a doorway over in the corner. People were laughing as he motioned for me to come in. I guess a little comic relief was in order.

He was a very nice man and helpful beyond my wildest dreams. The only thing that baffled him was my marital status and it baffles me, too. I can relate. He gave me some direction (and, boy, I needed that today) about retirement and got me duly enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. I’ll have the premium to pay but that will be less than having to pay the deductibles and co-pays my employer insurance leaves. I may wish I’d just gone with Part A for now but I’ve gone and done it. He warned me that it will be billed quarterly. Every three months, I’ll have to be sure to have $289.20 to send the government. I need a bailout! Last of all, he requested a replacement Social Security card for me. Mine is probably in an old purse at the bottom of my closet. I may never need it again but I should have one.

Now I have printouts attesting to the fact I am a Medicare person as of February 1. He signed it and put his direct number on the form so I can call him if I have any questions. I gave him my card and he said he’d take a look at my blog. Seems his brother is interested in acai juice that has several other components. He didn’t seem to think I was a weird person. After a pleasant encounter, he walked me to the door and I was, once again, on my way.

I’d planned to go to the university supermarket and then drop in to see DS1 and the family. I did the first but when I called the house I got the answering machine. So much for that.

Aldi was my next stop and they had grapefruit for 25¢ each! I got 40. Plus four packages of romaine hearts, 10 avocados (I shared with my neighbor) at 49¢ each, and a couple of other things. Wally World was my last grocery stop and then…

Goodwill!

Well, folks. Usually when I go to Goodwill, it’s in the evening and I don’t have much time to spend. Today, I took advantage of the situation and found two sweaters (three, really, but the lady at the checkout found a hole in one of them and I decided not to get it), three skirts (one is Evan-Picone and maybe the Lord let me have that in place of the suit that didn’t fit), insulated long undies (bottom and top) and two pairs of slacks. A black pair in a 4 petite eludes me but I found a nice dark charcoal gray pair that will do nicely. I almost forgot the size 34C bra for $1. And it looks new. I’ve been looking everywhere for a 34C and they’re hard to find unless I’m willing to pay big bucks.

And now for the second milestone. The first was Medicare. Number 2 is Wednesday is Senior Day at Goodwill. Anyone 65 or over gets 20% off the items that aren’t already half price. I told the lady I didn’t qualify because I wouldn’t be 65 until February. She decreed I was close enough so I got all of my purchases for $26.20. Woohoo!

My second load of laundry is still in the washer. I need to take care of it and get ready for bed. So much for milestones. That’s enough for today.

4 Responses to Milestones

  1. Annie December 11, 2008 at 12:12 am #

    Tommie you got some great bargains with those clothes and also with your grapefruit. Sure makes a person feel good.

    Very wise to enrol in Medicare, though that’s quite a sum you have to find on a monthly basis. Hope you can manage it. We have it here in Oz but the cost is taken in our tax although one can join a private Medicare.

    Just think, if you have to go back to that office again, you’ll know the way.

  2. Tommie December 11, 2008 at 6:34 am #

    When I start drawing Social Security (I can get full benefits at age 66) the premium will come out of that. I’m entitled to Part A but Part B is a different ball o’ wax.

    I am SO excited with all my new threads! One of the sweaters is gorgeous with beading all over the front. It’s long and black. Dramatic! I have it on DD’s bedroom floor drying. Since that room isn’t heated, it may take days. The other sweater is in there, too.

    Besides the bargain grapefruit, the 49¢ avos are beautiful large ones. I had a good day.

    Yes, it’s a plus that I’ll know where to go next time. That will be to turn in my documentation for Social Security.

  3. Cassandra December 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    Tommie, no way are you that old!! Really? I would have thought you were still in your 50s. Great deal on the fruit and the clothes!

    Cassandra

  4. Tommie December 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    You’re very kind, Cass. I haven’t made a secret of my age (unlike my mother when she was 64). You can check this out, for instance.

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